Barriers faced by women groups in accessing Uwezo fund in Kikuyu constituency, Kiambu county

This was a cross-sectional descriptive study on the barriers faced by women groups in accessing uwezo fund in Kikuyu Constituency, Kiambu County. Specifically the study focused on institutional capacity and financial literacy dimensions of these barriers. The target population were the registered women groups in Kikuyu Constituency. A sample of 6 women groups; three who were successful in accessing Uwezo fund and three who were unsuccessful in accessing the fund comprised the study population. Qualitative data was collected through focus group discussions and key informant interviews. The study was guided by the women‟s empowerment framework theory.The findings show that financial literacy is a barrier to the women groups‟ access to Uwezo fund. The groups lack book keeping skills, have no knowledge on how to prepare business plans and loan expenditure plans and have no avenues of receiving training on financial management. In terms of institutional capacity barriers, there is limited knowledge amongst the groups on administration of Uwezo fund and the application procedures. The capacity building program was also found to be ineffective. Therefore the study recommends simplification of the application procedures and subjection of the application process to less rigorous requirements and processes to significantly improve access to the fund. All registered women groups should have access to the capacity building which will equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills required during the application process.